Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New implant replaces impaired middle ear

Date:
January 14, 2013
Source:
Chalmers University of Technology
Summary:
Functionally deaf patients can gain normal hearing with a new implant that replaces the middle ear. The unique invention has been approved for a clinical study.

Functionally deaf patients can gain normal hearing with a new implant that replaces the middle ear.
Credit: Boid/Chalmers

Functionally deaf patients can gain normal hearing with a new implant that replaces the middle ear. The unique invention from the Chalmers University of Technology has been approved for a clinical study. The first operation was performed on a patient in December 2012.

With the new hearing implant, developed at Chalmers in collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, the patient has an operation to insert an implant slightly less than six centimetres long just behind the ear, under the skin and attached to the skull bone itself. The new technique uses the skull bone to transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear, so-called bone conduction.

"You hear 50 percent of your own voice through bone conduction, so you perceive this sound as quite natural," says Professor Bo Håkansson, of the Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers.

The new implant, BCI (Bone Conduction Implant), was developed by Bo Håkansson and his team of researchers. Unlike the type of bone-conduction device used today, the new hearing implant does not need to be anchored in the skull bone using a titanium screw through the skin. The patient has no need to fear losing the screw and there is no risk of skin infections arising around the fixing.

The first operation was performed on 5 December 2012 by Måns Eeg-Olofsson, Senior Physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, and went entirely according to plan.

"Once the implant was in place, we tested its function and everything seems to be working as intended so far. Now, the wound needs to heal for six weeks before we can turn the hearing sound processor on," says Måns Eeg-Olofsson, who has been in charge of the medical aspects of the project for the past two years.

The technique has been designed to treat mechanical hearing loss in individuals who have been affected by chronic inflammation of the outer or middle ear, or bone disease, or who have congenital malformations of the outer ear, auditory canal or middle ear. Such people often have major problems with their hearing. Normal hearing aids, which compensate for neurological problems in the inner ear, rarely work for them. On the other hand, bone-anchored devices often provide a dramatic improvement.

In addition, the new device may also help people with impaired inner ear.

"Patients can probably have a neural impairment of down to 30-40 dB even in the cochlea. We are going to try to establish how much of an impairment can be tolerated through this clinical study," says Bo Håkansson.

If the technique works, patients have even more to gain. Earlier tests indicate that the volume may be around 5 decibels higher and the quality of sound at high frequencies will be better with BCI than with previous bone-anchored techniques.

Now it's soon time to activate the first patient's implant, and adapt it to the patient's hearing and wishes. Then hearing tests and checks will be performed roughly every three months until a year after the operation.

"At that point, we will end the process with a final X-ray examination and final hearing tests. If we get good early indications we will continue operating other patients during this spring already," says Måns Eeg-Olofsson.

The researchers anticipate being able to present the first clinical results in early 2013. But when will the bone-conduction implant be ready for regular patients?

"According to our plans, it could happen within a year or two. For the new technique to quickly achieve widespread use, major investments are needed right now, at the development stage," says Bo Håkansson.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Chalmers University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Chalmers University of Technology. "New implant replaces impaired middle ear." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114092515.htm>.
Chalmers University of Technology. (2013, January 14). New implant replaces impaired middle ear. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114092515.htm
Chalmers University of Technology. "New implant replaces impaired middle ear." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114092515.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins